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    Vijay Mallya says he met finance minister to settle dues before leaving, Arun Jaitley contests claim

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    Vijay Mallya says he met finance minister to settle dues before leaving, Arun Jaitley contests claim

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    Arun Jaitley, who was the finance minister in 2016 when Mallya left India, said Mallya "misused" the privilege of being a Rajya Sabha MP to catch him in corridors of parliament on one occasion while he was walking out of the House to go to his room.

    Embattled liquor tycoon, Vijay Mallya, on Wednesday claimed that he met union finance minister Arun Jaitley before leaving the country in 2016.
    Speaking to reporters outside the UK court, Mallya, who is fighting extradition to India on charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to around Rs 9,000 crore, said he repeated his offer to finance minister on settling dues with the banks.
    Arun Jaitley, who was the finance minister in 2016 when Mallya left India, denied the liquor baron's claim.
    "Since 2014, I have never given him any appointment to meet me and the question of his having met me does not arise," Finance Minister Jaitley said in a Facebook post.
    "The statement is factually false in as much as it does not reflect truth," he asserted.
    Jaitley said Mallya "misused" the privilege of being a Rajya Sabha MP to catch him in corridors of Parliament on one occasion while he was walking out of the House to go to his room.
    In the court, Mark Summers from Crown Prosecution service representing Indian government, said UK court is not looking at the merits of the case, but only looking for Mallya’s extradition.
    Summers pointed to internal emails within Kingfisher Airlines speaking of worsening situation for the company, but Mallya sold a different story to banks.
    He said in the court that Mallya took loans from banks knowingly that he can't repay the dues if Kingfisher Airlines failed.
    Clare Montgomery representing Mallya told the court that government of India has provided a varnished version of video of the Mumbai jail cell and it doesn't satisfy concerns about humane lighting and ventilation.
    According to Montgomery, Rakesh Asthana from CBI had threatened banks to file criminal complaints against Mallya and there is no evidence that he knew Kingfisher Airlines was overvalued.
    He said Indian government’s case against Mallya is bizarre to suggest that he borrowed in order to not repay.
    Earlier, Mallya said that he was ready for a "comprehensive settlement".
    The extradition trial, which opened at the London court on December 4 last year, is aimed at laying out a prima facie case of fraud against Mallya.
    It also seeks to prove there are no "bars to extradition" and that the tycoon is assured a fair trial in India over his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines' alleged default of over Rs 9,000 crore in loans from a consortium of Indian banks.
    Mallya's defence team had deposed a series of expert witnesses to claim he had no "fraudulent" intentions and that he is unlikely to get a fair trial in India.
    In separate legal proceedings, the businessman lost his appeal in the UK's Court of Appeal against a High Court order in favour of 13 Indian banks to recover funds amounting to nearly 1.145 billion pounds.
    (With PTI inputs)
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